23 November 2007

Openness: Purity of Essence

I wrote a piece for Linux Journal recently warning that Microsoft was beginning to hijack the meaning of the phrase "open source". But the problem is much bigger than this: the other opens face similar pressures, as Peter Murray-Rust notes.

In some ways it's even more serious for fledgling movements like open access and open data: there, the real meaning has barely been established, and so defending it is harder than for open source, which has had a well-defined definition for some time. Given the importance of labels, this is a matter that needs to be addressed with some urgency before "open access" and "open data" become little more than bland marketing terms.

2 comments:

foucault123 said...

As soon as people realize that its realistic to demand open standards for everything from city planning to laws and regulations there is going to be big trouble. The powerful will never want to give up their power, and they have taught us to love copyrights as much as they do.
ultimately selfish and exclusive behaviors will never produce the benefits of co-operative inclusive ones.

glyn moody said...

Eric Raymond wrote: "Linux is subversive." The same could be said about all openness for the reasons you mention.